Meet the Organizers
Douglas Thomson, the founder, is a professor of criminal justice and sociology at Chicago State University. As an educator, advocate and organizer, his work explores and challenges the problematic relationship between criminal justice and social and economic justice.
Professor Thomson’s research and teaching areas of interest include: courts; sociology of corrections; juvenile delinquency/juvenile justice; communities, crime, and justice; law in society; and research methodology. His scholarship, teaching, and advocacy aim to enhance working together for the common good.
Professor Thomson has served as research coordinator at county and state juvenile justice agencies, testified in court as a community sentencing advocate, helped write the Charter for Illinois Children, served as president of the Illinois Academy of Criminology, co-founded the Cook County Juvenile Court Research Consortium, and contributed as activist and scholar to restorative justice efforts. In 2010, Whitman College recognized Dr. Thomson’s career achievements by naming him a Visiting Educator. The honor included presenting a public lecture on “Confronting Mass Incarceration, Saving a Nation.”
His publications address issues such as:
organizing for community mediation;
probation as a just sentence;
entitlement/advocacy approach to juvenile justice;
public opinion regarding criminal sentencing;
plea bargaining and intensive probation supervision;
peacemaking within the restorative justice movement;
prospects for cause lawyering;
ending mass incarceration.
Douglas Thomson holds a B.A. degree from Wheaton College and a master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago, all in sociology.
Meridel Thomson, Website Designer, has experience in nonprofit, communications, policy, and public relations. From 2006 - 2012, Meridel worked at Chicago Foundation for Women, a nonprofit and advocacy organization. There, she managed allocation of funding and coordinated a board-led grantmaking committee. Meridel earned a BA in English from Kalamazoo College in Michigan. She is currently working on her MA in composition and rhetoric at North Carolina State University, where she also teaches English 101 to freshmen. Outside of school and teaching, she is active in the Raise the Age campaign in North Carolina.
Will Walkington, Graphic Designer, holds a BA in fine art from Kalamazoo College, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in graphic design at NC State University’s College of Design. Prior to entering graduate school, he worked professionally for five years at an environmental graphic design firm in Chicago, in addition to freelance work involving print, web and exhibition projects.